Marital rape difficult to prove in court, Parliament told

Deputy Minister Mohamed Hanipa Maidin says Section 375A of the Penal Code can be used to punish men who hurt their wives in pursuit of sex.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plans to criminalise “marital rape” at the moment as it would be almost impossible to prove such cases in court, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the chances of the suspect being acquitted of spousal rape are much higher.

Due to that, the government has no plans to amend the law regarding the matter, he added.

“When it involves marriage, there is always this element of doubt. And in criminal proceedings, any benefit of doubt must be given to the accused.

“What’s the use of having a specific provision if the chances of convicting a person are too slim?

“So I think the government will not make marital rape an offence because this is extremely hard to prove in court,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat.

He was responding to a question from Maria Chin Abdullah (PH-Petaling Jaya) who wanted to know the government’s position on marital rape and whether it has any plans to review the law that provides immunity to husbands.

The Sepang MP added there were existing legal provisions to punish those who cause hurt to their spouses.

Section 375A of the Penal Code provides that any man who causes hurt or fear of death to his wife or any other person in order to have sexual intercourse with his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years.

“So if there is any case involving violence in marriage, I suggest that the wife lodge a police immediately because we have Section 375A to protect you.”

He added there had been one reported case of rape during marriage that went to court. However, the foreign woman eventually retracted the report.